Apple Thunderbolt Displays

As the sequel to Apple’s LED Cinema Display, the Apple Thunderbolt Display ($999 from the Apple Store) was originally introduced in July 2011, and has not changed significantly since then. Measuring 27″ on the diagonal, the metal and glass Thunderbolt Display uses the same 2560×1440 screen found in the standard 27″ iMac and the LED Cinema Display, with a chassis thickness somewhere between the last two iMac generations. Three speakers are inside the frame for 2.1-channel audio, along with a basic FaceTime HD camera and a microphone.

New in this model is the Thunderbolt connector, which makes a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, or Mac Pro easy to hook up. After plugging the monitor into a wall outlet, you connect your Mac via the Thunderbolt cable to gain access to three powered USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire 800 port, a Thunderbolt port, and an Ethernet port. There’s also a MagSafe plug to supply up to 85W of power to a MacBook, as well as a packed-in MagSafe 2 adapter for newer MacBooks. Thunderbolt is required for the video connection; no other video standard is supported.

The Thunderbolt Display has not been updated for roughly four years, and shows its age in physical thickness, non-Retina display resolution, the age of its ports, and pricing. It’s very hard to recommend right now, and we’d expect Apple to release a new version in the not-too-distant future.

Need extra cash to upgrade? Sell your Thunderbolt Display to Gazelle.

All Apple Thunderbolt Displays Generations

Release Date Age
August 12, 2012 3 years, 9 months, 19 days ago

Apple Thunderbolt Displays January 22, 2015

Despite USB 3.0’s growing popularity with consumers, Thunderbolt remains a viable alternative for professional users, particularly video makers willing to pay a premium for guaranteed high speeds. Over the past year, several Thunderbolt 2 hubs have come to market — boxes with one Thunderbolt 2 connection to a computer, one for a Thunderbolt accessory, and multiple ports to connect USB, audio, video, and Ethernet accessories. The idea: keep all of your gear hooked up to the hub, then use a single cable to connect it all to your Mac.

Known for large, heavy, professional-grade Mac accessories, CalDigit has just released Thunderbolt Station 2 ($199), which squeezes the same functionality offered by Belkin’s $300 Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD and Elgato’s $230 Thunderbolt 2 Dock (review) into a smaller, denser-feeling enclosure, at a lower MSRP — sort of. In reality, Thunderbolt Station 2 has some very specific benefits and one limitation that place it on par with its competitors, making the choice between them a more personal decision…

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Apple Thunderbolt Displays June 11, 2013


A tweet by a German web design exec suggesting that the resolution of a piece of Mavericks wallpaper suggests a Retina iMac with a resolution of 5120×2880 pixels has been doing the rounds, spotted by bunch of publications.

The rationale is that the resolution is exactly twice that of the current-generation iMac, therefore suggesting a Retina iMac with double the resolution. The problem with this argument is that 5120×2880 pixel wallpaper images are not new to Mavericks. In fact, Apple has used them as far back as 2011, probably just for future-proofing purposes. There’s really no downside to including images which will display nicely on any larger monitors that come along …

What is more likely this year from Apple are 4K displays… expand full story

Apple Thunderbolt Displays April 9, 2013

Apple is preparing to soon release new Mac computers that support super-fast 802.11ac Gigabit wireless, according to code-findings inside of Apple’s latest OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 beta seed to developers. The code was located by a tipster inside of the operating system’s WiFi-frameworks folder. As you can see in the image directly below, the 802.11ac code is not found in OS X 10.8.3, which is the latest public release of Apple’s Mac operating system.


Previous reports have claimed that Apple is working with wireless chipmaker Broadcom to produce 802.11ac chips for future Macs. Now, it appears, Apple’s software is ready to support the new wireless technology as well. More details below…

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